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Photo Journal: Snow signals

A farmer prepares his field for rice planting against the backdrop of Mount Kasa in the city of Takayama, Gifu Prefecture, on May 19, 2017. The remaining snow on the west slope of the 2,898-meter peak is said to resemble a horse, and the appearance of the "yukigata," or snow pattern, on the mountain became a signal for farmers to begin preparing their rice paddies long ago. These snow shapes usually begin to appear on Mount Kasa around the beginning of May. This year, however, the patterns emerged a week to 10 days later than usual due to an unusual amount of remaining snow. (Mainichi)

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